Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Perfect Holiday Turkey

Thanksgiving is definitely my favorite holiday.  As soon as Halloween rolls around, I start mentally tasting that Thanksgiving meal.  This year I cannot wait! 

I am all about tradition for the big day. I always want the same turkey, same stuffing, etc. I might try ONE new side or dessert, but that’s it. I want everything else to taste just like I remember it.

So I’m once again sharing my recipe for the perfect Thanksgiving turkey.  I’ve been using this same Martha Stewart recipe for years and it never fails. People will tell you they love you once they smell the turkey roasting. Yes, it’s that good! 


Perfect Holiday Turkey
Serves 12 to 14

Salt/Pepper
1 whole turkey (18 to 20 pounds), rinsed and patted dry, giblets and neck reserved for gravy
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted, plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dry white wine - Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
1 package cheesecloth 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Stir together melted butter and wine in a medium bowl. Fold a very large piece of cheesecloth into quarters so that it is large enough to cover breast and halfway down sides of turkey. Immerse cloth in butter mixture; let soak.

Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack set in a roasting pan. Fold wing tips under turkey. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper inside turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Fold neck flap under; secure with toothpicks. Rub turkey all over with softened butter; season with salt and pepper.

Remove cheesecloth from butter mixture, squeezing gently into bowl. Reserve butter mixture for brushing. Lay cheesecloth over turkey. Place turkey, legs first, in oven. Roast 30 minutes. Brush cheesecloth and exposed turkey with butter mixture. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Roast, brushing every 30 minutes, 2 1/2 hours more; cover with foil if browning too quickly. If making gravy, add giblets and neck to pan 1 1/2 hours after reducing temperature; roast 30 minutes, and reserve.

Discard cheesecloth; rotate pan. Baste turkey with pan juices. Roast, rotating pan halfway through, until skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees and stuffing reaches 165 degrees, about 1 hour. Transfer to a platter. Set pan with drippings aside for gravy. Let turkey stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes. Garnish, if desired.
 

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